Death and Deterrence: Notes on a Still Inchoate Judicial Inquiry
Robert J. Cottrol
The George Washington University
October 18, 1999
This article examines the impact of the social science literature on the death penalty and deterrence on court decisions in capital punishment cases. The article examines two highly influential statistical studies, one done by sociologist Thorsten Sellin in 1959 and the other by economist Isaac Ehrlich in 1975 and uses both studies to illustrate the kinds of questions the courts can and should ask of quantitative studies in this area.
Note: This paper is forthcoming in a book titled, "Statistical Science in the Courtroom" edited by Joseph Gastwirth (Springer-Verlag Publishers, New York, New York), publication date August, 2000.working papers series
Date posted: February 22, 2000
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